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Processing innovation opens up new pathway for specialist steel

A method for making low-weight, high-strength steel more manufacturable could have important implications for the automotive sector. Car manufacturers, trying to reduce the weight of vehicles, are interested in low-weight, high-strength grades of steel. But some of these metals have properties which make them difficult to manufacture and process in large quantities. Material scientists at the University of Warwick have now found a way to control the properties of these materials so they can be rolled and formed like conventional steel. The problem up to now has been that strong, lightweight steel alloy grades tend to have brittle phases that make them hard, but stiff and unworkable. Two of these phases, according to the team led by Alireza Rahnama of Warwick Manufacturing group, ar

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New form of carbon is tough and elastic

A joint US-China research team has discovered a new form of carbon that is ultra strong, yet elastic like rubber.    (Photo credit: Timothy Strobel) Developed by engineers at Washington DC’s Carnegie Institute for Science and China’s Yanshan University, the material is also lightweight and electrically conductive. The researchers claim it could have a wide array of applications, ranging from aerospace engineering to military armour. To create it, the team pressurised and heated a structurally disordered form of carbon called glassy carbon. This starting material was brought to about 250,000 times normal atmospheric pressure and heated to around 1,000 degrees Celsius. Under the high-pressure synthesis conditions, disordered layers within the glassy carbon buckle, merg

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